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16 Aug

INEC Gives Condition For Stopping Dino Melaye’s Recall

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said only a legitimate court order can stop the recall of Senator Dino Melaye  representing Kogi West senatorial district.

In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday, Rotimi Oyekanmi, chief press secretary to the chairman of the commission, said filing a lawsuit was not enough to stop the process.

It would be recalled that INEC on Monday, released the schedule for the recall of Melaye.

However, various lawsuits have been instituted to stop the process. Melaye and a group known as Concerned Kogi Registered Voters filed separate cases at a federal high court in Abuja.

Oyekanmi however said the commission is being guided by the provisions of the constitution and the electoral act.

According to him, “The constituents came with sacks of documents which they said were ‘the signatures’ of more than half of the voting population of Kogi west senatorial district, which Melaye represents.

“They also presented a register of the said signatories and a letter, asking INEC to begin the process of recalling the senator representing that particular district.

“Subsequently, the commission, in the exercise of the powers conferred on it by sections 116 of the electoral act 2010 (as amended), on Monday issued a timetable and schedule of activities for the recall of the senator.

“The first stage is a verification exercise slated for July 10, 2017.

“To that extent, filing a lawsuit is not enough to stop INEC from carrying out its legitimate duty.

“Only a legitimate court order or an injunction can be considered by the commission.”

Reacting to claims by Melaye that some of the signatures submitted to INEC were forged and that names of dead registered voters were also included, Oyekanmi said that the process of verification would clear all that.

On method INEC would adopt in verifying thumbprints of registered illiterate voters who are part of the signatories for the recall, he said that it would be handled.

“The commission will adopt its normal way of conducting the verification exercise, which will be applicable to both the literate and not-so-literate,” he said.

He added that the commission would apply its standards in a situation where people believed to have signed the recall letter, failed to show up for signature verification.

“If the verification fails to meet the established standards, the commission will not proceed to the next stage. The recall process automatically terminates there,” he said.

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